- End of Year Report Dec. 2005
Shorewalk was formed in August of 2005 in response to:
The continued deterioration of some of Fort Erie’s public
access routes to Lake Erie and the overcrowding on local beaches.
(b) Public frustration with
the decades long inability to freely walk this shoreline which
most of the public view as a birthright denied.
(c) News from a July/05
Michigan supreme court ruling which guaranteed the public in
that state complete right of passage up to the high water mark
on Michigan’s 3200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Much
of the court’s ruling stems from the application of English
common law, namely the concept that oceanside right of passage
should also extend to the navigable waters of the Great Lakes
since they are legally an extension of the oceans. We contend
that these same rights should be equally available to Ontario’s
In August we presented a brief to Mayor Redekop and Signe Edgecomb,
Parks and Open Space manager. It requested action on waterfront
issues. While well received it was pointed out that more force
would be given to a presentation representing a larger group.
to build membership and research the case for a more pro-active
municipal waterfront plan while recognizing the importance of
the town’s acquisition of the Bay Beach property.
Former MPP Ray Haggerty brought to my attention a1950 amendment
to the Beds of Navigable Waters Act which removed the Ministry
of Natural Resources jurisdiction from high water mark to low
water mark. This has had a very negative effect for public waterfront
rights and we therefore call for restoration to the former interpretation
of jurisdiction to the high water mark.
Met with our provincial members of parliament Tim Hudak, Peter
Kormos and Kim Craitor. All agreed to research the Michigan
case for walking rights and the 1950 amendment to the Beds of
Navigable Waters Act.
(b) Visited deteriorating
lakefront road allowances at Stonemill and Bertie Bay Roads
with municipal councilors Paul Fell and Richard Schular.
(c) Met with municipal councilor
Tom Lewis and Town Planner Dave Heyworth regarding strengthening
the waterfront clauses in the new Town Plan.
(d) With the help of Earl
Plato began to research the historical context of our loss of
waterfront rights. We visited the Special Collections branch
of the Brock U. library and were able to obtain some important
(e) In a phone conversation
councilor Anne Marie Noyes agreed that a survey of Centralia
Beach road allowance with permanent markers is called for.
(f) Former councilor Tim
Haggerty provides Shorewalk with a 2003 excellent town study
of road allowance development done by Town Staff’s Signe
Edgecomb. We find that it was endorsed by council in August
2003 but never acted on. Essentially, its recommendations become
(g) Presentations to council
on Oct.11 and Oct. 24 requesting road allowance improvements
with support from Shorewalk members: Amy King, Peggy Krieger,
Paul Kassay, Lara Skerrett, Doug Taylor, Terry Lamorie, Ken
Cardwell, John and Eleanor King, Don Lubberts, Jim and Barb
Kuchyt, Bill Brunton, Margareta Skerrett, Rita Aguis, John Gardiner
Nov. 18 we were notified by the Town Clerk, Carolyn
Kett that staff had completed a comprehensive report that included
many of our recommendations and that it would go to council on
Nov. 21. Our response was presented at the Nov. 21 council meeting
by Dr. Martha Skerrett of Shorewalk. She congratulated the council
on their proposals while voicing some concern regarding a number
of issues including the continuing need to develop public access
west of Point Abino. We also wait for final budgetary approval
which should come very soon.
On November 30 we formed Shorewalk
Port Colborne, headed by Lisa Ciolfi and Ryan Munro. They have
begun to develop membership and research the issues particular
to their area. Their initiative is welcome and should provide
future benefits to the Port Colborne public.
(a) Toured the Oakville
Linear Park and held conversations with their Parks Director
(b) Met with Darcy Baker
from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.
(c) Had several phone discussions
with Joed Durst from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
(d) Chris Freiburger of
Fort Erie established and maintains our website at www.shorewalk.ca.
Many thanks to Chris who is also a member. His website is
(e) Received useful documentation
and advise and/or membership support from many others including:
Shirley Grace, Scot and Sue Hepburn, Neal Skerrett, Pat Macdonald
(Port Colborne lawyer and former mayor), Lisa Susin,
Lara Skerrett, Peggy
Fraser, Izaak de Rijke (Guelph property lawyer), Janet Truckenbrodt,
and Gord Cumming (Thunder Bay Property Owners’ Association).
(f) Established a working
association with:Don Lubberts of the Friends of Crystal Beach
(68 members) and Bill Crosts of Pikes Bay on Lake Huron who
is fighting similar issues (300 members).
(g) Followed the Port Stanley
beaches issue and Ontario Municipal Board hearings with the
help of Mary Jane Egan (reporter-London Free Press), Donald
Leach (Central Elgin-CEO) and Bruce Blake (Central Elgin’s
(h) Provided input to the
new Parks and Recreation Plan being produced by the GSP Group.
(i) Established shorewalk
membership on Georgian Bay (Parry Sound, Victoria Harbour),
Lake Huron (Pikes Bay), Lake Erie (Kingsville, Port Stanley,
Port Colborne) and Lake Ontario (Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines,
Oakville, Mississauga, and Prince Edward County.
Conclusion: Our Ontario Shorewalk Association seems to have had
good success with local road allowance issues. That success will
only be confirmed with their inclusion in the 2006 budget.
Monitor the progress of the town’s road allowance
plans for 2006.
2. Work for inclusion in
the new Town Plan of a long term strategy for continued expansion
of our public shoreline.
3. Begin to address the
issue of no public Fort Erie lake access west of the Point Abino
4. Monitor the new Parks
and Recreation Plan to see that it reflects the public interest
in improving our shoreline access.
5. Expand our membership
locally (now at 236) and provincially in order to move forward
on our long term plan to regain our lost shore line. You can
help a lot by joining at www.shorewalk.ca. and by urging your
fiends to join this worthwhile campaign.
Ontario Shorewalk Association